Homoeopathic action has been traditionally confined to certain diseases, predominantly psychical, psychosomatic, functional, such as allergies, rheumatism and others, while the possibilities of efficacy of homoeopathic medicines for severe, infectious, lesional, tumorous illnesses have been denied. This somewhat light and precipitate concept was maintained by renowned authors.
In our opinion, this is an error that, on one hand, comes from a narrow view of the therapeutic possibilities of different homoeopathic dilutions and medicinal potencies and, on the other hand, from a lack of proper knowledge of the disease as considered according to the different evolutive stages. The so called “unicists” homoeopaths, followers of Kent, adhere to high potencies and disdain material dilutions which are below Avogadro‘s number.
The “organicists”, in contrast, generally prescribe only low material dilutions. lt is therefore evident that both groups will thus have fragmentary or incomplete viewpoints of homoeopathic therapeutics and, consequently, of its real possibilities. Not having a clear idea about the kind of disease and of the degree of the tissue lesion pertaining to the disease, leads to regrettable mistakes and confusion, more so when bearing in mind the diverse kinds of similitudes which the homoeopaths must handle (see Chapter IX).
CLASSIFICATION OF DISEASES ACCORDING TO THEIR DEGREE OF LESION
In general, diseases which affect human beings follow a familiar evolution which goes from the slightest to the deepest pathological conditions. Thus, disease as an expression of lack of harmony of the vital force, starts by showing disturbances proper of each patient, corresponding to his emotional and affective sphere, his sensorium, his coenesthetic sensations, his central nervous system, his peripheral nervous system -the latter two being his means of communication par excellence. The general symptoms which indicate that the individual’s whole state is disturbed, appear later: tonism, temperature, appetite, thirst, sleep, sweat, reveal a homoeostatic alteration, i.e., an alteration of the process of physiological autoregulation of the internal medium and of the body temperature. In the process of aggravation of the morbid condition, later on, the organic systems or the organs in themselves are affected. Progress of morbid mechanisms leads to an organic localization of the disease in which the four classical pathological stages occur: irritation, inflammation, dysfunction and tissue lesion (see Chapter XII).
This sequence generality takes place both in a chronic disease as in an acute one, with the difference being the time it takes to develop. As regards the causes of cell lesions and cell death, these may be classified in the following general groups: (1) hypoxia; (2) physical lesions; (3) surgical lesions (4) biological agents;
(5) immunologic mechanisms; (6) genetic defects; (7) malnutrition; (8) aging.
1) Cellular Hypoxia: the most frequent mechanism is due to a decrease of oxygen in the bloodstream (ischemia), whether due to primary arterial occlusion (arteriosclerosis), or to intravascular clots (thrombosis or embolisms). For instance, myocardial infarction, cerebral apoplexy, kidney infarction, etc. Other times it is due to an incapacity of transporting oxygen in the erythrocytes (anaemia, poisoning due to carbon monoxide).
2) Physical agents : mechanical trauma, extreme temperatures, changes in the atmospheric pressure, radiation, electric shocks.
3) Chemical agents: all the varieties of poisons.
4) Biological agents: virus and rickettsias cause endocellular lesions. The bacilli of diphtheria, bacteria act by means of exotoxins which inhibit oxidation phenomena and protein synthesis within the cells. Gram negative bacteria act by means of endotoxins which are released when dying. Others, like the bacillus of Koch, awaken an allergic reaction in the host.
5) Disturbances in immune mechanisms: immune reactions against exogenous and endogenous antigens, like the anaphylactic reaction against an alien protein or an autoimmune reaction, are cause of cell lesions.
6) Genetic alterations: diseases such a congenital malformations, genetic mutations, lack of enzymes.
7) Malnutrition: protein and vitamin deficiencies, just as nutritional excesses, can cause serious diseases and death.
ANATOMO-PATHOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION OF DISEASES
Diseases are classified from a clinical viewpoint and from an anatomo-pathological viewpoint into two large groups: functional disturbances and lesional diseases.
A)Functional perturbations may be:
Psychic: e.g., anxiety, fears, excitement, irritability.
General: e.g., insomnia, tiredness, lack of appetite, sweat.
Local: internal organic sensations, tremors, contractures, pain, etc.
The clinical and anatomo-pathological characteristic is that the process is always in one of these three stages: cell irritation, dysfunction, inflammation with “restitutio ad integrum”. In these cases, the cell’s anatomic structure has not been destroyed; it has only suffered a temporary transformation.
B)Lesional diseases: those conditions which produce structural and microchemical changes in the cell. These changes depend on the specific noxious agent, its toxicity and its capacity to produce the injury; also its type and the degree of differentiation of the cell, as well as the cells metabolic activity, and state of health. The first manifestations of cell damage generally is a change in the mitochondria and in the plasmatic membrane. Afterwards, deep mitochondrial changes take place in the endoplasmic reticulum and in the polyribosomes, with damage to the cellular capacity of oxidative phosphorylation and protein synthesis. When cells are incapable of conserving ionic and liquid homeostasis, tumefaction, dropsical vacuolation and fat metamorphosis appear. Up to then, the cellular lesion is reversible, i.e., capable to regenerating and recovering its function.
a) Lesional reversible diseases are those in which, notwithstanding the structural alteration they produce, they may draw back until cell “ad integrum” restitution as well as functional recovery are complete. This restitution is complete and spontaneous in acute diseases; in chronic diseases restoration cannot be produced spontaneously but after an adequate homeopathic treatment. lt is also true that diverse acute diseases, and some chronic ones, go through a preliminary period during which they are reversible and curable, becoming irreversible afterwards, despite treatment. For example, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis and numerous chronic infections.
1)Lesional reversible mental diseases: deliria, disturbances of judgement due to cerebral lesions, delusions, etc.
2)Lesional general reversible diseases: some nutrition diseases, septicemia, etc.
3)Lesional local reversible diseases affect an organic system, and can be localized or diffuse. They are localized when the anatomo-pathological alteration comprises a circumscribed area; eg., follicular tonsillitis, a wound in the skin, localized glomerulonephritis etc.
They are diffuse when the anatomo-pathological alteration comprises the whole system or Organ; eg., acute hepatitis, acute encephalitis, enteritis, diffuse glomeruIonephritis, etc.
All these conditions are curable by means of the dynamized, diluted (in any potency) medicine, except for especially particular cases which require a certain potency. As a general rule, we can affirm that any individual sensitive to a given medicine is sensitive to any potency and dilution; here exist, nevertheless, degrees of efficacy for each potency in each particular case.
b) Lesional irreversible diseases provoke deep cellular changes, to the point that these alterations cannot be either anatomically or functionally restored; in other words, they do not heal. In these cases no treatment, neither homoeopathic nor allopathic, can obtain real cure. Symptoms can only be relieved. An explanation is necessary here: focal irreversible lesions may be cured clinically be means of scarring, but they cannot be cured histologically because there is no “ad integrum” restitution. Irreversible diffuse lesions, instead, comprise the whole organ and are really incurable, as the scarring of the whole lesion would mean the total annulment of the organ and, therefore, of its function. This cellular death of parenchymatous tissue may be quick, like in an embolism or a traumatism, or slow, like in cirrhosis or chronic nephrosclerosis.
But there exists an unquestionable fact proven by many years of experience: the homoeopathic medicine dynamized beyond Avogadro’s number, without matter, does not act on diffuse or incurable irreversible lesions. From here stemns the fundamental importance of a clinical, anatomo-pathological correct diagnosis before prescription, not only of the medicine, but also of the appropriate dilution.
Thus, here is another irrefutable fact: in order to act therapeutically on irreversible and incurable lesions, the patient must be given a medicine that be active in its natural state, according to a lesional similarity, modalized and individualized, covering most of the pathological symptomatology and will always be administered in dynamized, low material dilutions, taking advantage of the reversible therapeutic effect, according to the Arndt-Schulz’s rule. In all remaining cases of curable lesions, reversible or not, and of course, in functional disturbances, medium, high or very high potencies can be most successfully employed.
Another problem appears in the special case of irreversible and incurable lesions: when must the remedy based on similitude be taken? Before the fundamental medicine, simultaneously with it or after it? In our opinion, it is very difficult to advise an inflexible rule for all possible cases as the patient’s individuality will always be present. In the future, the best pattern to follow will only be founded on properly collected statistics. In the meantime, each physician must use his common sense and his clinical criteria to solve each individual case.
Conclusion: we can maintain with certainty that the therapeutic field of homoeopathy will be remarkably enlarged by putting these fundamental notions into practice during our every day medical work. With this, an unusual efficacy of homoeopathy as regards diseases considered to be incurable or as regards diseases, for which there was not even a palliative resort according to the classical homoeopathic method, will be added to its well known, familiar effect on a multitude of patients and diseases.